Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), the umbrella organisation for employers in the Organised Private Sector in Nigeria, revealed that the delay in transmitting the new minimum wage bill to the National Assembly for passage by the presidency was counter-productive and distruptive to businesses in the country.
The Director-General of NECA, Timothy Olawale said the delay will inevitably result in an industrial action by organised labour in January 2019. He noted that seven weeks after the report was submitted by a National Minimum Wage Committee inaugurated by the President, the government was still planning to subject the report to a review by another technical committee.
In a statement released by NECA to newsmen, Olawale said “globally, there is a recognised and acceptable process of setting a National Minimum Wage as enshrined in the ILO Convention 131. This process had been adopted in previous National Minimum Wage setting in Nigeria and was meticulously applied by the National Minimum Wage Committee inaugurated by the President in December 2017”.
He also noted that “it was expected that following the submission of the National Minimum Wage Committee’s Report to the President on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, expedited action would be taken in transmitting a bill to the National Assembly as promised by President Muhammadu Buhari. This delay in the completion of the process had led to the proposed strike by labour, which is totally undesirable and should be avoided”.
Olawale also revealed that “businesses are at present encumbered by several challenges and any avoidable labour action at the beginning of the year or any time whatsoever would be counter-productive, disruptive and would not be welcomed”.
The constant demand for a 30,000 naira minimum wage by the Nigerian Labour Congress from the Nigerian government, has been described by labour body as ‘provocative’.
The NLC’s General Secretary, Peter Ozo-Eson accused the Government of unnecessarily delaying the implementation of the proposed minimum wage.